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Soccer

Soccer on TV: Lazio looks to finish season unbeaten against Roma

Lazio’s Luis Alberto, right, and Sampdoria’s Jakub Jankto fight for the ball during an Italian Serie A match on Jan. 18.
Lazio’s Luis Alberto, right, and Sampdoria’s Jakub Jankto fight for the ball during an Italian Serie A match on Saturday.
(Andrew Medichini / Associated Press)

Struggling Roma needs a win to keep history from being made in its Italian derby with Lazio and high-flying striker Ciro Immobile, while in Spain‘s La Liga, Barcelona tries to protect its razor-thin lead atop the La Liga table in the top televised soccer matches from Europe this weekend.

Serie A: Lazio has a chance Sunday to do something it hasn’t done in seven seasons — and it doesn’t even have to win its derby game with Roma to make that happen. After playing its cross-town rivals to a 1-1 draw earlier this season, Lazio (14-2-3) can finish the season unbeaten against Roma (11-4-5) for the first time since 2012-13 with another draw, or win, on Sunday (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 9 a.m. PST). Lazio comes in hot, unbeaten in 14 straight in Serie A play and winners of the last 11 behind Immobile, whose 23 goals lead all European players. Teammate Luis Alberto has a league-best 11 assists. Roma, meanwhile, has lost two of its last three, with both losses coming in Stadio Olimpico.

La Liga: The La Liga race is now a two-team battle with a narrow goal differential the only thing separating Barcelona (13-3-4) from Real Madrid (12-1-7). Barcelona hasn’t always been dominant this season. Although it’s unbeaten in its last nine league matches, it lost to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa semifinal — a loss that cost coach Ernesto Valverde his job — and struggled to beat third-tier Ibiza in the Copa del Rey earlier this week. The Blaugrana will have to regroup quickly for Valencia (8-5-7), its opponent Saturday (BeIN Sports, 7 a.m. PST). If it stumbles, Real Madrid can take sole possession of the top spot by beating Real Valladolid (4-6-10) on Sunday (BeIN Sports, noon PST). Valladolid last beat Madrid in a league match in 2008.


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